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Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016

Warren St. Academy celebrates first day in new school building

Every student at Warren St. Academy has a story behind why they attend the alternative high school in the center of Hudson, NY, and every teacher knows their stories. For high school students who have not achieved academic success in their home districts, Warren St. Academy is a beacon of support. The specialized school celebrated the first day at its new location at 11 Warren St, a new building with fresh paint, more learning spaces, and a real cafeteria.

“This new building will give us ample opportunity for 21st century learning, additional space for collaboration and the ability to engage the community in ways we never thought possible," said Principal Daniel Kalbfliesh. The 11,000 square foot facility houses three educational programs, including the recently added Bard in Hudson Civic Academy, which gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits during their senior year.  “Bard College has been a great partner to us and we are interwoven on many levels, the program in the building, the one on one mentorship offered to my faculty and the professional development conferences,” said Kalbfliesh. “Our culture and instructional practices are improving outcomes for all students in each program.”  

Students from the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas travel in from their home communities for a different kind of school day. Teachers learn what motivates each student and match their teaching style to what best fits their individual needs. They know that this year, a new building will provide a more studious environment in which students can learn.

Social Studies teacher Sarah Fullmer hopes that the new building will engender a positive culture at Warren St. Academy. “Setting up our classrooms in the new building has been very exciting, and the kids are happy about it too,” said Fullmer. “It feels like more of a school in the traditional sense, which I think will help with some of the student behavioral challenges we have addressed in the past.”

A place for focus
Those familiar with Warren St. Academy know that its teachers are the reason behind the school’s effectiveness in finding the right ways to encourage students like 12th grader Austin B. to succeed. “Mr. Flannigan, my Physical Education and Health teacher, is a really good person and has a different style of teaching that I really like,” said Austin. “There are fewer students at Warren St. than other schools, which makes it an easier and better environment to focus on our work.” After passing his three New York State Regents exams this year, Austin plans to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps by joining the Navy. “The Navy will help me achieve something that I really want to do, which is travel the world.”

Fellow 12th grade students Imya D. and Krista W. hated math class before starting at Warren St. Academy last year. With a 100% average in math at the end of last year, Imya plans to become a dental hygienist, and both students are on track for college. Like most students at Warren Street Academy, they look forward to graduating alongside their friends at their community schools.

With the first week of school completed, students and teachers at Warren St. Academy look forward to  what this year in a fresh space will bring. “The new building is a critical component for our program and students,” said Associate Principal and Workforce Development Coordinator Richard Shea. “It allows us more space to be creative and unlocks the potential for new partnerships and the possibility of wrap-around services after and before school. While 364 Warren St. was a great start, 11 Warren St. is more suited for our evolving and growing program.”

—Sydney Lester

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